Why Crate Train Your Dog?
The goal of crate training a puppy is to be able to leave them somewhere safe and comfortable for periods, when you are unable to supervise them closely. Over time, your puppy can have more freedom, but crating a young puppy will help set up good habits from the start.
Think of the crate like a bedroom for your puppy - it’s a safe place for them to retreat to, not a place to lock them up. Place a comfortable bed or mat inside the crate and always leave the door open when they are not using it, so they can choose to enter the crate themselves, at any time.
Advantages of Crate Training
- Can help with house training as puppies don’t like to soil the area they sleep
- Can help manage your puppy's chewing, by limiting their access to other areas of the house. It also helps you to set up good chew habits by always giving them items they are allowed to chew when inside the crate
- Helps to teach them to be comfortable spending time on their own
- Crates provide secure restraint in cars, and safe short-term confinement when travelling
- A crate-trained dog will be more comfortable at the vet or a boarding facility when put into a holding pen
- When used properly, a crate offers a safe, comfortable place for your dog to retreat to at any time.
- Leave your puppy for long periods of time
- Use a crate as a form of punishment as your puppy may become fearful of the crate
- Go too fast! You must teach crating gradually and always make the crate a positive experience.
How to Get Started
Choose the right size crate - your dog should be able to turn around easily and sit up without hitting its head on the top. They should also be able to stretch out their legs when lying on their side.
Always remember that a crate must be a positive place for your dog. Teach them that it is a place for rest so don’t put them in there when they are revved up and in the middle of play.
You can start crate training from the moment you bring your puppy home. Place a bed or soft blanket in the crate. Snooza offers the Calming Multimat, which fits most crate sizes.
Let your puppy explore the crate by tossing treats and toys into it. Play games in and around the crate, and keep the door open to start.
Feed your puppy all meals in and around the crate, keeping the door open until they are comfortable going in and out of the crate.
Once your puppy is comfortable around the crate and eating in the crate, start closing the door while they eat and open it just before finishing their meal. After a few days, start encouraging your puppy into the crate with a chew toy, closing the door for 15 minutes without any stress.
Start popping them in when you know they are tired, not hungry and have been to the toilet. Give them a chew toy as a reward when they go inside and close the door. Most tired puppies will fall asleep pretty quickly.
Gradually increase the time your puppy is in the crate but do not confine young puppies for long periods during the day as you need them to develop a positive association with the crate.
Crating at Night
Initially, have the crate in your bedroom or close by so that you can hear when the puppy wakes. Puppies often need a toilet break in the night, so you need to hear them if they wake. Puppies do not like to toilet in their bed area, so you must take them out. Once your puppy is sleeping through the night, you can move the crate's location further away.
Covering the crate may help your puppy settle, and also ensure they always get a treat or chew toy when put to bed for the evening.
Once your puppy is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to move the crate to other locations.
Crate training can be extremely helpful when raising a puppy, but please go slowly so your puppy learns to enjoy their crate from the start.
2 in 1 - Crate or Indoor Kennel
The benefit of a Snooza Convertible 2 in 1 Training Crate is that, once your puppy is trained, the crate can become a place inside your home where they feel safe.
The doors are removable and converts the crate into an indoor kennel, and with the optional crate cover with roll-up mesh windows can provide your puppy or fully-grown dog with a safe and familiar place to retreat to at any time.